Palestinian UN ambassador challenges US Biden administration

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The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations is challenging the Biden administration to show results from its diplomatic efforts to achieve a cease-fire between Israel and Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers, pointing to the US repeatedly blocking UN Security Council action on grounds it would interfere with its diplomatic efforts.

Riyad Mansour said “if the Biden administration can exert all of their pressure to bring an end to the aggression against our people, nobody is going to stand in their way.”

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But he said the facts speak for themselves, and nobody has succeeded yet, so the US argument that a council statement would interfere with efforts to achieve a cease-fire “does not hold water.”

Mansour spoke at a press conference Tuesday as the Security Council again met in closed consultations at the request of China, Norway and Tunisia who have been pressing for the UN’s most powerful body to respond to the Gaza conflict, now in its second week. But council diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because the discussion was private, said the US reiterated again that a statement would not help diplomatic efforts despite the 14 other members calling for council action.

Algeria’s UN Ambassador Sofiane Mimouni, current head of the UN’s Arab Group, said “the United Nations as a whole must raise its voice” to achieve a cease-fire and urged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to personally engage and intensify his efforts with all world leaders “to put an end to the repression that Palestinians are facing.”

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